The Cornish Arms


Situated in the heart of the Cornish town of Hayle, and steeped in a history that stretches back to the early 19th Century, the Cornish Arms offers an enchanting mixture of good food, fine wines and well kept ales, all served in a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

The story of the pub is one of slow evolution over time and is closely linked to both the history of Hayle and that of St Austell Brewery. The town's first brewery was established by John Richards in the 18th Century, in Bodriggy, an area that takes its name from an ancient family estate that dates back to 1181. Richard's original enterprise was sold, in the early years of the 19th Century, to Christopher Ellis Snr. and, by 1815, the Ellis Brewery was born. 

Originally the Ellis family concentrated most of their business on importing wines and spirits, and the conversion of an end of terrace cottage into a shop to sell these wares marked the beginning of our pub's story. Over the coming years two more cottages in the terrace would be added, as the Cornish Arms grew into what we see today.

During the next century, as the town boomed and the industrial activities of the Cornish Copper Company and Harvey's Foundry expanded, so did the brewery and, in the 1870s, a large 'steam brewery' was constructed. This process was fed by barley grown in the fields of the Bodriggy estate. Many of the brewery buildings from that time, including the malthouse, the brewery offices and the 'steam brewery' building itself, still survive and can be seen just up the road from the pub.

According to research on the Boak and Bailey Beer Blog, the Ellis brewery seems to have produced a lot of bottled Guinness, as well as the curiously named 'Sparkling Tonic Dinner Ale', with the majority of this going to quench the thirst of the large population of miners, foundry and shipyard workers of West Cornwall.

As industrial activity in and around Hayle declined, at the beginning of the 20th Century, and local sales began to fall, the Ellis operation merged with Walter Hicks and Co Ltd Wine Merchants and, in 1934, became a part of the St Austell brewery legacy.

Over the decades tastes and times have changed and, as the next chapter of this old Cornish inn begins the landlords, Huw and Claire, are keen to build on the best of that history, whilst injecting a modern and quirky twist. They understand the importance of community and, with regular Cornish music and folk nights, and a host of other events, something of interest is happening almost every day. 

Huw and Claire's commitment to locally sourced, high quality produce, and their belief that it is people who make the pub what it is, means the Cornish Arms is a place you'll always want to come back to.